NSA valedictorian loved getting involved

Published 9:58 pm Thursday, May 31, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of five stories on Suffolk’s high school valedictorians. The series wraps up tomorrow with Suffolk Christian Academy. Check out www.suffolknewsherald.com to view the entire series.

Hard work and time management made it easy for Upasana Barot, 17, to secure her spot as valedictorian at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.

“It’s really simple. Just work hard, because there is no substitute for hard work or putting in your best effort,” Barot said.


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She prioritized her classes, community service and school organizations to be able to have the valedictorian spot at her graduation May 25.

During her senior year, she was taking multiple Advanced Placement classes, playing tennis, filling out college applications and participating in school organizations.

Barot’s plan for success was simple. “I was definitely prioritizing and focusing on what was due,” she said. “If I’m determined and I work hard, I know I can do it.”

She will be tackling college at the College of William & Mary, where she plans to study business management or accounting. She has been passionate about getting a business degree for some time.

“My favorite class is probably economics,” She said. “I really like it, and the information can be applied in the real world.”

During her economics class, Barot got a real-world taste for business. Her class invested in stocks, and she had the opportunity to track them for a few months, and they worked on year-long budgets according to a random person’s financial profile.

Barot participated with her classmates in the “Saints Tank,” which was like the television show “Shark Tank.” Her group created a water bottle for the project.

She also gave her time to the tennis team at NSA and the Saints Broadcasting Network. She played tennis her entire time at NSA, and she was a founding member of the broadcasting network.

“My advice to someone would be to participate in as many activities as you can. You expose yourself to different activities and different interests,” she said. “I already knew I wanted to do business, but doing the SBN, it made me think journalism would be a cool field.”

Though Barot was involved in high school, she wishes she had gotten involved earlier at NSA.

“I really like where I am right now, but in middle school, I wasn’t that involved,” she said. “I’ve become more involved and participated, but if I would have started from a younger age, I would have met more people and maybe found out different interests in something else.”